Bump, castles and vegetarian cooking

The bump is getting bigger.

summer dolphin ii

It is out of control…  Here it is at Gold Coast last weekend for the G20 summit.

summer bump gc

summer bump

Kidding! my youngest has taken to hiding under my dresses/ skirts. Short or long, he doesn’t discriminate.

summer bump iii

summer hide and seek

summer mum and boys

My husband’s safe in his Missoni for Target shorts.

summer boys

J, the German au pair was there to help with building sand castles.  Neuschwanstein, Hohenzollern, Burg Eltz- those German’s know what they’re doing when it comes to castles.

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 11.54.06 AM

summer sandcastle

Speaking of Neuschwanstein, J was at home with the swan taps at the GC penthouse.

gold coast swan bath

summer penthouse ii

summer penthouse

summer penthouse view

summer chanel beach

summer chanel camelia

I’ve also been learning to cook vegetarian dishes, as J is vegetarian.

summer canneloni

I whipped up this cannelloni combining 600 g fetta cheese with 250 grams of thawed spinach and a 100 grams of grated parmesan.  Wrapped the filling in lasagne sheets (I used hard sheets, though save yourself the trouble of pre-boiling the sheets, and buy fresh), and placed over a cup of passata.  Poured more passata and grated mozzarella over the top and cooked in a medium oven for about 20 mins.

So yummy and no complaints from my carnivore husband.

J also made this delicious vegetarian lasagne with spinach and béchamel sauce.

summer lasagne

Am also experimenting with salads. Unintentionally toasted these already toasted pine nuts, in my pumpkin and haloumi salad :)

summer pumpkin salad

Nesting continues.  The walls are mostly sugar soaped, a load from the garage and storeroom has been taken to the tip and I’ve cleaned the carpets with a Britex carpet cleaner (normally I’d outsource this, but it was so satisfying seeing how much sludge and dirt came out of my carpet!).  My boy’s have always come early, but this one won’t be coming till I’ve wiped down all the kitchen shelves, dusted the louvres, packed the hospital bag, and baked Baby Mac’s Glad Chuit’s fruitcake, celebrated Thanksgiving with a turkey, and attended my boy’s day care Christmas Concert.

There I go talking about myself again! What about you, how are you?  Any vegetarian cooking tips?  Any ways to avoid labour? x

Nesting

With less than a month to go, I’ve started nesting.  And since I’m a recovering hoarder, I accepted my darling friend Butter Bee Betty’s offer to help organise.  channeled Peter Walsh in an Oprah hoarding intervention and helped me sort, organise and cull.  She’s a Dr, so it was Dr’s orders.

Relax.  I don't think the new baby will care if those puzzles and books aren't perfectly aligned.

Relax. I don’t think the new baby will care if those puzzles and books aren’t perfectly aligned.

nesting ii bathroom

nesting outfit

B’s tips were revolutionary.  Apparently shirts and pants can be stored in the same draw!  For instance- home clothes, smart casual etc, or in my case, by size, which is perfect for this stage of pregnancy.  My new draws include: current wear; post-baby wear; and finally what I hope to one day fit into again.

B also emphasised the importance of making objects visible to encourage their use.

She is also a major advocate of gentle, cold wash cycles, with laundry liquid and fabric softener.  This outfit she’s modelling below is 10 years old and is testimony to her respect for care instructions.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 5.00.35 pm

I was in the zone.  Much progress was made.  S, our cleaner, was an angel and offered to do a charity drop off and tip run.  And J, the German au pair, offered to clean windows and the fridge on her day off.  Once upon a time I would have declined such offers, but I have learned to say yes and thank you!

There is still much on my to do list.  Like this deceptive desk, which is hiding years of paperwork to be filed.

nesting desk

…organise the store room and garage, sugar soap the walls, and have the carpets professionally cleaned etc.

Am so excited to get through it, but my body is starting to fail me.  This pregnancy has been rough.  The first 20 weeks were dominated by morning sickness and fatigue.  Now the sickness is back, and I’m struggling to sit upright.  At least there’s a baby at the end.

In other happenings, I’m starting Christmas early.  Made rum and apricot balls with the boys the other day whilst J (my eldest’s best friend from childcare) was over for a play date.  Remember, I shared before about my initial meeting with J’s mum, K?  She happened to be the random Dr I’d booked for a routine pap smear at my local Doctor’s surgery.  We’ve moved on from then….

nesting rumballs

Earlier in the day we marked the 25th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin wall with this duplo effort.

nesting berlin

nesting berlin lego ii

nesting cake

In a G20 exclusive, Barrack Obama’s plane flew over our house earlier today, and tomorrow he’ll be giving a speech from the hall that I graduated in.  Meanwhile it is hot.

Any tips for decluttering/ nesting?  Hope you have a good weekend. x

Melbourne Cup 2015

Yay for Protectionist!  The new audi… the new au pair… Protectionist- those Germans sure are hard working and reliable.

Hosted a little get together at my house for the occasion.  Had a sweepstake based on the guest’s choice of cupcake.

Melbourne cup 2014 spread

melbourne cup 2014 cupcakes

J, my German au pair, won!

Melbourne cup 2014 winning cupcake

melbourne cup 2014 e & d cupcakesmelbourne cup 2014 4 w cupcake

Meanwhile 4 year old J won best jockey hat creator.

Melbourne cup 2014 jockey helmets

This mother-daughter look has me planning a fourth pregnancy…

melbourne cup 2014 pretty in pink

It might not have been above the knees, but if Jean Shrimpton could get away without a hat or stockings in 1965, then I could wear my new full length Camilla dress in 2014.  My 4 year old’s still learning about lighting when taking photos, but here’s a peak at my outfit.

Melbourne cup 2014 dress Melbourne cup 2014 dress iiLoved how it worked with the fallen jacaranda leaves.melbourne cup 2014 dress with jacarandas

So sad to hear about Admire Ratki and Amaldi.

How was your Melbourne Cup? Any wins? Did you break any fashion rules? Did you watch the A Current Affair coverage? Has anyone else been thrown by Foxtel’s sudden change of channels?

3, Halloween and Germans

My baby is now three! I made an attempt to meet his ‘peppa pig, pirate, tractor’ theme request, but reader, he is my second child, and it is his third birthday.  So I did not hire a tractor or pirate peppa pig costume. Settled for

3 peppa pig birthday cake

a homemade peppa pig, pirate, tractor cake…3 peppa pig cake

and pirate peppa pig biscuits…

3 peppa pig biscuits

and muddy puddle puddings…

3 muddy puddles

puddles3 snacks

The boys and I went trick or treating on Friday night.  The 4 year old was a cowboy, the 3 year old a pirate, and the bump was a pumpkin.

3 halloween costumes

Can’t get enough of these Camilla pants.

Trick or treat in Toowong…

3 halloween

3 trick or treating
3 pumkin

We were invited into a random house to eat fingers and brains etc.  What a friendly bunch!3 halloween table

3 halloween picture

In other news, we have two new Germans in our household.  The au pair arrived last week and is a gem.  My 4 year old was calling her Miss Au Pair for the first few days – had to break it to him that that was not her name :) .  The second German arrived yesterday- our new Audi Q7!  A seven seater, just in time for the new baby.

3 audi

One more day of my teacher prac placement left!!!  Once I’m finished I promise to reply to comments left on my blog (sorry about that!).

x

Camilla, teaching and 3 years old

I lost 3 and a half hours on Saturday to the Camilla warehouse sale at Brisbane’s RNA show grounds.  Thank goodness there was a 15 item change room/ purchase limit, or I might have lost a few more hours.  The sale was not for the feint hearted. Next time you see a lady looking gorgeous in a Camilla kaftan purchased from such a sale, imagine how beautiful she must have looked as she stalked the sales staff for that item, or snuck it away from another lady trying it on :) .

Lucky I’m competitive.  So many pregnancy friendly options.  Here’s me trying a skirt on surrounded by a change room floor piled with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of garments.

camilla mayhem- skirtcamilla mayhem ii

I’ve already worn the skirt twice.  Also brought a dress in the same print.

camilla one shoulder

Also loving this tube dress from the Camilla beach house collection.

camilla tube dresscamilla tube dress bump

I brought a several items from the Camilla beach house collection, including these pants which will also be a staple.

camilla beach house pants

There’s a lot of cramming go on in these parts.  I’m in the middle of my student-teacher placement, teaching years 8s and 9s English and SOSE at a state school.  I’m actually really enjoying it, and thankfully have a very helpful, understanding supervisor.   Yesterday a student made me this:

baby boy cupcake

It was so cute, I nearly didn’t eat it.

Speaking of babies, my baby boy is turning 3 on Friday.  How did this happen?  It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating his 2nd birthday with a Mr Busy theme.
two ii cake timetwo cupcakes

two ii mummy and baby on ball

This darling is still very much the Mr Busy.  Sports, cooking, experimenting… He keeps me on my toes.  Thankfully, he’s calming a little as he ages, and I can finally get him to sit through a solid 4 minutes of Peppa Pig.  He is an absolute darling, and I regularly melt at his cuteness.  I wish I could show you a photo of his gorgeous face….

He has requested a Peppa Pig, pirate, tractor party.  I will do my best to cater.  Especially enjoying the back yard at the moment in its Jacaranda splendour.

jacaranda ii

jacaranda downfall ii

Two more sleeps till the au pair arrives from Germany!

Auf Wiedersehen x

33

It’s been awhile.  I have been busy catching up on four seasons of Game of Thrones. What have I been doing with my life?  I’ve missed all these historical events: The war in Westoros…. The wildlings marching toward the wall under Mance Rayder…. Daenerys Targaryen’s efforts to raise forces to retake the Iron Throne…..  Am counting the sleeps till Season 5.

In other happenings, we celebrated my husband’s 33rd birthday last weekend with a French Open (Roland Garros) theme (remember last year’s Wimbledon theme?).

french open playing tennis

french open cup

As much as I enjoy going all out with a theme, I saved myself the expense of resurfacing the tennis court with clay, and instead focussed on recreating the food experience of the French Open.  Fortunately, the food is basic at the French Open, with a ham baguette being the most popular food item sold.

french open baguettes

Macarons are also popular.

French open macarons

I cheated with Adrian Zumbo’s passionfruit packet mix macarons (used 3 packets).  I’m not sure where the CWA stands on these, but I won’t be buying them again.  So much effort for little return.  Respect for his pressure point tips, but egg whites are superior.

Recreated the event’s signature cocktail ‘The Ace’ and ‘The Royal Ace’.

french open ace cocktail

french open The Ace cocktails

Save yourself 10 Euros, and make some basil syrup (bring to boil: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup basil; simmer, strain)

french open basil syrup

And some cucumber syrup (bring to boil: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup grated cucumber; simmer, strain)

french open cucumber syrup

Add lime juice, and top with perrier (for ‘The Ace’) or Moet Chandon (for ‘The Royal Ace’).

ace

Enjoy with a slice of Angel Food cake.

French open cake

33 is my husband’s lucky number, so I have a good feeling about this year.

anniversary 33 cake

The family holiday in Cairns and Port Douglas was wonderful.  As much as the boys enjoyed snorkelling at the reef, the submersive boat experience, the Kuranda sky rail and a helicopter ride over Port Douglas, apparently the Madagascar movie was the highlight of the trip!

BeFunky_cairns - family photo reef magic.jpg BeFunky_cairns skyrail.jpg BeFunky_cairns blue drink ii.jpg cairns- marina cairns prawns cairns helicopter cairns waterbaby cairns beach

 My highlight was a snorkelling adventure tour on the Reef Magic.  My husband thought it  hilarious that I was the only person on the advanced snorkelling tour wearing a life vest.  So much to see- schools of parrot fish, angel fish, clown fish, barracuda etc.  And just when I was feeling like zebra print was a little too everywhere, I saw a school of diagonally striped sweetlips.

diagonal banded sweetlipEmbrace the print people.

BeFunky_cairns = zebra ii.jpg

BeFunky_cairns zebra.jpg

Enough about me.  How are you?  Any recent holidays, birthday celebrations, Game of Thrones insights to share?

And what do we think of the new seals that have popped up on two litre bottles of milk?  Overkill?

Me time

stamford 30th outfitI’ve been taking advantage of my boys mistaking my twin for myself in the middle of the night, and having a few nights away with my husband.  Here we are at the Stamford Plaza. Stamford Plaza might be one of Brisbane’s premier hotels, but it does not have a Sundae option on the room service menu!  Which is a problem for a pregnant lady.

stamford

stamford view

At least the Brasserie on the River breakfast had options.stamford plaza

Have also been having a few girls nights out.  Lots of birthdays to attend.  A 37th at Kathmandu.

stamford 37th birthday

A 30th at Thai Terrace.  The theme was Heels and Hair.   I wore sparkly Louboutins with my hair in a braid thingy.

stamford hair

Can we have a vote on which way I should wear this skirt?  Above or below the bump?

stamford outfit ii

stamford silver

Birthday girl looked fabulous.

stamford 30th birthday

Afterwards, everyone headed to the movie 100 foot Journey.  I’d already seen it, so snuck of for a movie date with my husband next door.  We saw Should I Stay?  It was bad, and no we shouldn’t have stayed!  But it was worthwhile, as the birthday girl organised her homemade chocolate birthday cake to be delivered.  Which was 5 stars.

Look what that naughty Bubbles did one day.

stamford tennis courtShoes, clothes, carpets, tennis courts….  She is a very expensive dog.

She has been relocated to the front garden.

front yardEnough Me Time. Now it’s time for a business trip to Cairns (I.e family holiday for us stay at home mums).  Any must dos for while we’re here?
stamford lillies

Au pairs, Gold, Nandos …

Not sure what to say anymore on the blog.  This stay at home mum gig just isn’t as glamorous as they say it is. I know some people dream of being a stay at home mum, but I fell into it, on account of disliking my previous profession and having children.  So I’m getting another au pair!!! She is German. Nothing like a good quality German export.  Audi/ Mercedes/ Porsche/ BMW, schnitzel- sure there was that WWII blip and my VW Golf mistake.

car- alan and seatcar- alan restraint

She’ll join us in late October in time for the new baby.  Things are getting kind of desperate.  Who takes their child to the beach in pyjama pants?

BeFunky_coast beach with boys.jpg

My four year old took a family portrait of me while visiting the Victorian Aunties.

BeFunky_coast aunties.jpg

He is dedicated to his art.  Doesn’t matter if you say stop, he’s determined to get the best composition.

BeFunky_coast children taking photos.jpg

coast photos

I wore Gold since I was at the Gold Coast.coast outfit

Sequins, Lanvin bracelet, and Marc Jacobs clutch.

coast gold

coast boys

I already weigh more than I did at the delivery of both my boys, and have outgrown all my maternity gear.  I think it’s because of the Nandos mild classic wrap that I can’t get enough of.

coast nandos

coast nandos ii

I know variety is important in a pregnant ladies diet, so I’ve been going all over town for these wraps.  St Lucia, Kenmore, Kelvin Grove.  I have eaten enough of them to buy one of those Hermes Pegasus scarves that everyone seems to be getting.

Have also been enjoying ice-cream. Visited the new Cowch last week with my best friends J, J, and K.  I’m boycotting Emporium Freestyle after that Courier Mail article saying that patrons were no longer to share desserts and just drink water.  Apparently it was sending his business broke.  Reader, sometimes I like to share a dessert.  Anyway Cowch was nice enough- a lot of ice-cream options.  Recommend the udder puffs which J had ordered.

coast cowch iicoast cowch

Dressed up for the occasion in this George gilet and elasticised pianarustudio skirt.

coast cowch outfit

coast cowch outfit ii

Wore my Zoe Kratzman heels for the second time.
BeFunky_g heel zoe kratzman.jpg

I went shopping for new clothes yesterday and headed Nikki’s (Styling You) wisdom to not buy something unless you love it.  Reader, I left empty handed. And without any clothes that would be donated to charity next season with a tag still on.  That Nikki knows what she is talking about!  I went to her ‘Unlock Your Style’ book launch and she is fabulous and relatable.

It’s raining here today.  Took a photo of these lilies my husband gave me spontaneously, but so overcast I had to do crazy photo shop things.

BeFunky_flowers.jpg

Am off to get some Nandos…

Do you love Nandos?  Any Maternity brands you recommend?  I hope you are well.

x

Linking up with Kimba likes.

Noosa, zebras etc.

We are back from a family holiday in Noosa.  I’m sorry you couldn’t be there.  Weather was splendid.  No trick photography.

noosa beach

noosa boardwalk t btw legs

noosa trike sand

Where else in the world do they have police patrolling on a segway?  Those things go up to 16 kph, so everyone was on their best behaviour.

noosa police

A who’s who of the family was there, from both interstate and overseas.  Aunts, uncles, parents, cousins and their families.  I can’t remember when I last saw cousin M who has lived overseas since finishing high school.  She eloped in Italy with only her parents in attendance who thought they were there for a marriage proposal.  Here she is with my sister K- both wearing stripes.  Talk about family resemblance.

noosa k and m

All the cousins have the T_____ chin.
BeFunky_noosa cousins ii.jpg

The boys met 4 new second cousins and had a blast.
noosa hide and seek

BeFunky_noosa cousins.jpg

I knew it was going to be a good holiday, because 33 is my husband’s lucky number.

BeFunky_noosa 33.jpg

My Aunty E sent home a fruit cake she’d made.  Whilst at the resort, she wandered into what she thought was her room, demanding to know what a man was doing in there.  Turns out it was his room, and he’d generously allowed her in!
noosa fruitcake

Snuck off for a brunch with my husband at 10 Hastings St.  According to the waitress it is normally the female that orders the bircher muesli and yoghurt.noosa breakfast yoghurt noosa breakfast

Don’t worry, he’d already had bacon and eggs earlier in the morning.

In Zebra news, I am adding to the collection.

aussie day zebra

BeFunky_zebra outfit in store.jpg

Meet my new maxi dress from Witchery. 
witchery

My husband tells me I look heavily pregnant in it.  Well when else can I get away with it?

Thank you everyone for your kind words for my twin who’s currently seeking fertility assistance.  Sadly, despite the super sperm of a 23 year old donor, higher doses of FSH, delayed retrieval times, and numerous flushes of cysts to maximise egg retrieval, no eggs survived the retrieval process.  The specialist described her response to IVF as dismal, and does not think she’ll respond differently in the future.  She is currently exploring alternative options including the possibility of a donor egg.  Our motto for now is ‘where there’s a womb, there’s a way!’.

x

Movie reviews and recipe reviews etc.

Here’s more of that Pianarustudio coat as promised.  Kept it for myself from the popup shop days.

BeFunky_movies coat.jpgBeFunky_movies outfit.jpg

Wore it to see Sex Tape starring Cameron Diaz.  Rotten Tomatoes gave it 1 star, which I thought was harsh.  Now I’m no Judith Lucy, but I’m giving it 3.5 stars as I laughed hard.  And 5 stars for the company- my identical twin:

BeFunky_movies teeth.jpg

We are mirror image twins.  I’m right handed, she’s left handed etc.  And when we first got teeth they came in at the same time, but on the opposite side of the mouth.  True story.
BeFunky_movies sis.jpg

movies lollies

movies accessories

I had my 20 week scan last week.  Still healthy.  Still a boy.  To protect his anonymity, here’s a picture of him hiding behind his hand.

baby 3

I asked for a picture of his penis for future evidence in case I started doubting the validity of the ultrasound.  Not only did my sonographer give me a copy of the area in black and white, but she made a couple of those 4D images as well! A bit of overkill, and I find the 4D images quite hideous.

Made Heston Blumenthal’s chilli con carne with corn bread muffins the other day.  Cheated with the kidney beans and used canned instead of dry.  Canned kidney beans!  It was delicious.

cooking cooking cornbread

The family went to the Indooroopilly school fete on Saturday.  I love a fete.  So nostalgic, although I don’t remember superfood muesli bars being available when I was a young girl.

muesli barrs

fete cake

Here’s the wildlife lady taking a monitor lizard for a walk.  Apparently they grow up to 7.9 metres in length!
fete monitorfete pirate feteOne minute we were having a ball on the bouncing castle, and the next minute it poured down, flooding the covered area we sheltered under.
fete flood

Fortunately, the rain subsided shortly after, and there was no need to tell Chanel 7 how we’d survived for days on superfood muesli bars and rockea road.

Last night, I woke up at 2am to this:

fete sleeping

Am going to show my husband next time he complains about the boys coming into our bed in the middle of the night.

How are you anyway? Loving school fetes? Eating super foods?  Fan of 4D sonography images? Watching the Commonwealth Games?  Anything else to report?

x